As a stainless steel processor, SML specializes in turnkey projects for the food service sector. It also offers stainless steel manufacturing as contractors.
For over 50 years, SML has designed and produced customized stainless steel equipment. It has worked, among others, in the food service sector to offer products, such as wine cellars, meat counters, range hoods, grills, countertops, furnishings and storage units.
Recently, SML has also started manufacturing products for a broader audience. These include a meat-ageing cabinet, and this new and complex SML product needed to be documented. Since SML didn’t have an in‑house resource for the job, it contacted Lios, in the fall of 2016, to produce a guide on installing, using, maintaining and troubleshooting the meat-ageing cabinet. Lios also had to come up with a new visual for all of SML’s technical documentation.
During a first telephone meeting, SML communicated most of the information Lios needed to get started on the guide. Since the meat-ageing cabinet was still in production, Lios structured a first version of the guide in a way that took the missing information into account. It then added developments as they became available.
Used to getting up close and familiar with technologies from various sectors, Lios had no trouble understanding and documenting SML’s product. However, it did have to sift through SML’s information to find what information truly needed to be included to support users without drowning them in information. The result? Lios produced a thorough guide that nonetheless goes straight to the point.
What’s more, by creating this documentation directly in MadCap Flare, a content management tool, Lios lay the foundation for quickly producing SML’s future guides.
A first experience leads to the next…
During this first time subcontracting its technical documentation, SML benefited from Lios’s advice about what to share with customers. Now, SML is sure to gather the information needed for documentation as its products are designed and manufactured.
This best practice was quickly put to use. In 2017, SML again needed to document a new product, this time a refrigerated showcase for commercial customers. Using the structure created for its first guide, SML was able to give Lios exactly what they needed to produce the new user’s guide. The result? A second guide that was just as good as the first, but a cinch to produce!